Shine

The bank account is busting and so are the stress levels.

School just needs to start – IYKYK. Am I right?

But in the midst of all the things, don’t forget about THE thing – and that’s shining for Jesus.

This year I pray that you shine:

▪️Big

▪️Bold

▪️Bright

I pray that your own kiddos, your students, and your friends feel that Jesus glow radiating out of every pore of your existence.

I pray you don’t grow weary.

I pray you run that race, girl.

I pray you run hard.

I pray.

It’s gonna be hard.

It’s gonna be exhausting.

But man will it be worth it.

Here’s to the 22-23 school year. ☀️

“And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

Galatians 6:9

Be intentional

Intentionally praying. Are you doing it?

I know I wasn’t for a long time. Sometimes we pray out of habit because we know it’s the right thing to do. Sometimes we just pray on a schedule because life gets too busy. Sometimes we just don’t pray at all.

The struggle is real.

A few months ago the words “be intentional” came over me while praying. These words have really stuck with me.

Was I being intentional with my prayers and my day to day life? The answer was no. Now I try to be intentional with everything I do.

From my social life to my work life. I challenge you to be intentional. I challenge you to really know what you are praying – to really know how you are spending your days honoring God.

Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. 1 Chronicles 16:11

Airplanes

I recently heard something interesting about airplanes that I’ve never EVER heard before. At any given moment, an airplane may have to go off its intended flight path…Not WAY off from what the original path looked like, but some variance in the original plan is to be expected.

There are all kinds of reasons for this deviation – weather, turbulence, wind, air traffic, to avoid a specific airspace…whatever the reason, some shift in their flight plan is to be expected because of all the things that could possibly happen on the way to their destination…all the things that could affect their ability to stay exactly on course they planned.

.

The main thing is, of course, that the pilot and the plane both know where the plane will take off and where it will land, but getting there to that final destination may look differently than originally anticipated.

The pilot and the plane know the starting point and the ending point.

They know their home base and their destination.

Regardless of the groundwork done by the pilot.

Regardless of the directions from the air traffic controller.

Regardless of the information set in the GPS of the plane.

The plane may have to take a different route to get to the destination than they intended.

Sound familiar?

I’d say this flight plan scenario is a whole lot like life.

We make plans,

We plan our future,

And even plan our days minute by minute, but they don’t always go like we’d thought they would.

In fact, I’m going to take a wild guess and say that around 99.5% of the time, things don’t go as any of us want/intend them to go. This could be something as simple as spilling something on your brand new dress on the first day of school OR it could be something as big as a health scare.

The only reassuring part of this whole thing is that plans HAVE been made for each of our lives.

A path has been set…just not by us. By God.

Proverbs 16:9 – The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.

Proverbs 16:1 – The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.

What exactly does this mean for us?

It means plan away, set that path, set goals and even achieve them..but be prepared – things may not turn out quite like you thought they would.

Sometimes, it means things go in a very different direction than we anticipated they would.

Sometimes it means we’re disappointed, surprised, and even frustrated.

Sometimes it means we just flat out don’t get what we want, but –

SOMEtimes, it means we get so much more than we ever imagined possible that we’re literally in awe.

Sometimes miracles happen.

Sometimes things we least expect in life come together for us.

Many fruits of the spirit come into play when our life is being directed by God and Godly things –

A whole lot of patience, an extreme amount of faithfulness, and a HUGE amount of self control. Trust the process is always a phrase that comes to mind when thinking of God’s plans and his time compared to our own.

Now getting there is another story. Although you don’t know what this life will look like or the steps you’ll take to be all that God intended you to be, he does. You may have twists and turns you never expected, you may have to experience things you’d rather not, you may even have to do things you never imagined in a million years you’d do, but regardless, if you can be still long enough to listen and follow his lead, you’ll get there.

Just know that unlike the path of that airplane, your path is not directed by the weather or a restricted airspace – your path is directed by the one who knows YOU,

the one who knows what’s BEST for you,

the one who is protecting from sights unseen and events unknown by you,

and the one who loves you more than anything in the world – so trust him.

Even when it doesn’t go like you planned.

God knows where you started, and God knows where you’re going…and even if you don’t know how you’re getting there,

He does.

Hunger

Jesus tells us, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry.”

What is spiritual hunger?

What is physical hunger?

Hunger is a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food coupled with the desire to eat

There’s a song “Amen simple Gospel“ by Kari Jobe. I first heard this song with the passing of my mama. It spoke volumes to me, and I pretty much listen to it at least once every day. I guess it goes back to my heart feelings about hunger. Everyday when I say my prayers I ask for the hungry to be fed and the sick to be well in a way that they see it is God who provides.

When I first heard this song my heart rejoiced when I heard that the hungry shall feast because I know what physical hunger feels like, and I can’t stand the thought of people -especially children- going hungry. Now I’m not talking about you just ate and I’m still hungry.

I’m talking one meal a day and that’s all there was – no snacks in the cupboard and no munching between meals. The hungry people suffer because the last meal was little and far between. 😢

I’ve often pondered on the subject of spiritual hunger. What does scripture John 6:35 mean? Jesus is the Bread of Life. How will we never go hungry again? By eating.

We can compare our physical hunger with spiritual hunger to get our answer. Physical hunger is a feeling of discomfort or weakness caused by lack of food and is coupled with desire to eat.

To never go spiritually hungry we have to snack on JESUS! Jesus has everything we need for our spiritual state. HE said whoever comes to Him will not go hungry. Go hungry – that’s the key phrase. If you snack, eat, snack, eat and repeat you will not go hungry. I love my Jesus, and I snack on Him every hour of the day by thanking him for things throughout the day.

Talking to Him even over the littlest stuff and then eating when I’m praying and reading his word, ect…..

If you don’t eat and snack on spiritual things of Jesus your mind will become weak, you will feel discomfort, and like the body you will have desires to eat the intake of unhealthy spiritual things.

You fill in the blank because we all eat differently. This will eventually cause great hunger – ultimately lead to starving. Spiritual starvation is a terrible lonely place😢

Come all who are hungry.

One day we will feast on Jesus when we see him face to face.

Wonderfully made.

Every time I try a new dress on I take a picture and send it to my sisters – cause codependent. 🤷🏼‍♀️

Guess what my reaction was when I put this one on? For a hot second – when I glanced at the picture before I sent it – I saw a big belly.

Now y’all, I know that’s ridiculous. My stomach isn’t big. But wouldn’t the devil love for me to believe that. For me to dwell on it. For me to be in my head over that all day long. Because let’s be honest – as women in this worldly world our focus tends to flitter that way.

And if I were in my head about that all day I wouldn’t be able to focus on my purpose, which is leading people to Christ.

Too bad for the devil that I started speaking scripture over myself a long time ago. And I challenge you to start doing the same.

In my twenties I would have listened to that voice. But in my forties – in my forties I only listen to THE voice. The voice of my savior. He said that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. He said I was born for a purpose. He said I was made in His image. He did not say you have a flaw that everyone will stare at all day and judge you for.

Just an FYI, fearfully when translated from the Hebrew means with great reverence, heart-felt interest, and with respect. Wonderfully when translated from the Hebrew means unique and set apart.

Wow!! That’s amazing, right?!

I want you to remember what I’m about to say – the flaw that you see isn’t there. It’s merely a mirage created by the devil to mess with your mind.

Sister, you are beautiful.

You are wonderfully made.

You were created for a purpose.

In His image.

Speak it.

Believe it.

“for it was You who created my inward parts; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I will praise You because I have been fearfully and wonderfully made”. Psalms 139:13-14

For the mommas.

Okay, this one’s for the mommas.

Current mom, toddler mom, teen mom, bonus mom, foster mom, looking to adopt mom, empty nester mom etc.

Let’s talk about our babies and the relationships THEY make on this planet, and all the fear that comes with that. Will they make good choices in friendships? Will they see the bad in people before it hurts them? Will they blindly trust, and end up heartbroken? On the flip side of that, will THEY be a good friend??? Have I raised them to be loyal, trust worthy, and deserving of the type of friendship I so desperately pray they find in their walk through this world? Have I modeled being that type of friend and surrounded myself with relationships that model that?

Let’s get into this by saying this – YOU ARE A GOOD MOTHER!!! Our children are our responsibility to raise, guide, and then in the blink of an eye they are making choices for themselves. Friends hear me when I say this, before you fall into the self-blaming habits that we all end up in when they make the wrong choice. Your precious baby child is not a robot. They are a HUMAN BEINGS, with the same free will to make their own choices that God gave you and I. So, they are 100% going to make mistakes. They will never make every choice as you may have raised them to make it… Your child’s human nature is something you can not carry on your own momma shoulders.

I am willing to bet that you carry enough on those weighted down shoulders. There is nothing worse than feeling like people are blaming the mother you are on the decision your child made. As if we aren’t already carrying it, that crushing judgement can just push us over the edge of self-blame. So, I encourage us all to respond differently in these situations because the moment we judge another mom thinking “not my baby” that’s when YEP, your baby…

They will ALL make a minimum of one dumb choice, but odds are it will be much more. So, lets support each other in this thing called parenthood because we are ALL just trying to get to other side of it with good kids that were raised to know that WHEN they made a mistake, momma was still there in their corner loving them and supporting them. Motherhood is SO HARD, and we need help!!! Help from our spouses, family, and tribes of other mothers that also are raising their kids the best they can.

So, when the time comes that they start making friends and building their own tribes, how can I help them to make the “right” ones? Wouldn’t it be easier to just do it for them!!! Well yeah… but what would they learn. There is importance in those broken friendships. So many human molding lessons come from the pain of loss. There are no tears wasted in this journey called life. So, we can’t and shouldn’t pick for them, BUT we can SHOW them what it is to be a good friend and to have them. We can show them through our own responses to friends and our own losses in that area. We can model grace and forgiveness in our own relationships knowing that they are watching and learning from us. We can be the friend to our people that we hope our child chooses for themselves. We can remind them that when it comes to friendships it should always be quality over quantity, and most importantly we can remind them that love overcomes all evil in this world, and that the love of a friend is precious.

Proverbs says “a man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother”. Friends, remind your baby of this – THE BEST FRIEND THERE IS, IS JESUS. If you love Jesus, He will send you your people to walk with, and those bonds will be forever. It is so hard to sit back and watch it all happen. To watch them go from the safety of moms just putting their kids together for play dates to them coming home to tell you about this new person who has entered their world that is a stranger to you. BUT trust who you raised them to be, trust God with their hearts and in the end know these things… God doesn’t waste pain or tears, and YOU ARE DOING A GREAT JOB. Every single time you love them and support them in their journey you are a rock star.

“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” ~~~Ephesians 4:32

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”~~John 15:13

Wanted.

Recently my 7 year old daughter asked me, “Why did God make people?” Which got me thinking because God doesn’t need us, so why would He make us?

Here are some things I found in scripture.

Genesis 1 tells us we were created in God’s image (which is love), we were intended to care for all his beautiful creation (He is sharing it with us!), and also to be fruitful and multiply (making disciples).

Galatians 5:13 says we were called to live freely but not to indulge in that freedom to be selfish but to use that freedom to serve others.

Deuteronomy 4:24 tells us that God is a jealous God. He wants us to want a relationship with him. The King of Kings WANTS you!

Ultimately we were made to:
Love God’s creation
Love others
Love God

But how awesome is it to know that God didn’t make us because He needed us but because He WANTS us and wants us to experience all this love! ❤️

Evidence

“And David realized that the Lord had confirmed him as king over Israel and had blessed his kingdom for the sake of his people Israel.” (2 Samuel 5:12).

Could this possibly have been an “Aha!” moment in King David’s life? Earlier in the chapter we find that David is once again anointed as king and has captured the city of Jerusalem, which as we know, becomes the political and spiritual center of Israel. David has grown in power and wealth recognized by all. According to Webster’s Dictionary, an “Aha!” moment is defined as a “moment of sudden realization, inspiration, insight, recognition, or comprehension.”

Perhaps David finds himself looking out over his kingdom and begins to reflect upon all that God has done in his lifetime. Scenes of his past replay in his mind as David examines the evidence not of his own ability, but of God’s promises, goodness, and divine purpose for his life. His revelation-it is God who has established him and has provided constant guidance and favor upon his life-all of it for the sake of His people.

If I’m being honest and completely human, I sometimes let life keep me from looking for the evidence of God’s divine operation in my life (both past and present). Life can often feel like it’s “for the sake of” many things right? There’s the never-ending to-do lists, laundry to finish, bills to pay, meals to prepare…

I cherish the moments of revelation and insight that come when I sit with My Father and His Word, allowing the Holy Spirit to help me see with spiritual eyes the evidence- “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

My friend, may you see the evidence of God’s goodness and purposes today and always. -Lisa

All throughout my history

Your faithfulness has walked beside me

The winter storms made way for spring

In every season, from where I’m standing I see the evidence of Your goodness

All over my life, all over my life

I see Your promises in fulfillment

All over my life, all over my life

(Josh Baldwin – Evidence)

Deeper Still

Has anybody else felt it? The soft push to do something?

You know it’s there. You know it’s from God, but the doubt is creeping in and making you unsure.

For the past month God has been nudging me to go deeper down a path. All the signs are pointing towards it. I keep making excuses even though there might as well be huge light up signs saying “GO THIS WAY!”

I’ve had people reach out confirming what I know, that I need to go deeper down this path the Lord is leading me down.

But I was scared and I shrugged it off. So I asked for God to give me a sign..again. (Insert eye roll emoji)

He confirmed what I already knew—The Lord is calling me deeper still. There is no doubt in my mind now.

Sometimes we like to act like we are imagining the signs and the soft pushes that we feel. Deep down we know it’s from God, but our human nature kicks in and likes to rationalize what we felt.

Where is the Lord calling you?

What is the Lord nudging you to do?

Is He calling you DEEPER STILL?!

It’s okay to be scared… I’m scared. But would God lead us deeper down a path just to forsake us?

It is going to be uncomfortable and it’s going to be hard. Have peace knowing that if you’re being called deeper into something, it’s for a reason.

Romans 8:28 tells us “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Where is the Lord calling you, friends? What is He asking you to do? Is He calling you deeper?

Filters are fake.

I am a scaredy-cat by nature. It’s who I am.

And I married the most spontaneous, adventurous man in the world. He is literally scared of nothing.

Opposites attract, right?

Last week we road ATVs through the mountains, and I literally thought I was going to meet my maker. I was for real riding in fear. While the husband and kids were having the time of their life I was praying through in the back seat.

We took the family picture though. You know the one. We are all smiling and look like we are living our best life. You can see from the picture Frank took of just me that I in fact was living my worst life.

I said all of that to say this:

Don’t let the pictures fool you.
Don’t let social media talk you into a trap of self-doubt, self-loathing, and of being self-conscious.
Don’t compare your real life to their Insta post.

I smiled for the picture, but I wasn’t smiling on the inside.

You don’t know the pain behind their pictures. You don’t know the struggle behind their smiles.
You for real don’t know what other people are battling.

Don’t compare your life to their pictures. A picture is just a visual representation of the outside – not the inside.

After all, filters are fake.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14